Microsoft brought back widgets with the release of Windows 11, which are now in a panel accessible from the taskbar. The company isn’t done with widgets, though, and a significant fix is on the way.
Widgets on Windows 11 don’t work at all right now unless you’re logged in with a Microsoft account — otherwise, the panel is blank and you can’t see anything. Even though the company has increasingly pushed people away from using Windows without a Microsoft account (the option is hidden entirely in Windows 11), Microsoft will soon allow widgets to work without a signed in online account.
Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25262 is now rolling out to Windows Insiders on the Dev Channel, which removes the Microsoft account requirement for the widgets board. The blog post explains, “you can now get weather updates on the taskbar, pin widgets from your favorite apps or access personalized dynamic feed without an account.”
There’s still a prompt at the top of the widget board to log in, but it can be hidden (at least temporarily) with a close button. Microsoft might be dropping the requirement ahead of support for third-party widgets — all the current widgets are from Microsoft, and many of them are personalized based on user data, so there was at least somewhat of an excuse for the whole panel to be locked to Microsoft accounts.
We don’t know yet when the new widget functionality will roll out to everyone on Windows 11. The same preview build also added a new ‘Video folders’ tab for Media Player, as well as a handful of bug fixes.
Source: Windows Blog